Published August 11, 2022
On Wednesday, August 10, 2022, EPPC Fellow Rachel N. Morrison met with federal government officials to oppose a proposal to rescind various protections for faith-based contractors that allow them to partner with the federal government and serve the American people without having to abandon tenets of their faith or their religious identity. Despite broad protections for faith-based contractors in law, the proposal, made by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in the Department of Labor, would limit which contractors can qualify for religious exemption and would prohibit faith-based contractors from making employment decisions based on sincere religious beliefs and tenets.
Rachel made the following arguments:
- OFCCP’s purported “need” to make its regulations “consistent with Title VII principles and case law” does not exist because the proposed changes are inconsistent with the text of Title VII, Title VII case law, and guidance by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the federal agency that enforces Title VII).
- OFCCP’s proposal targets religious exercise, but the agency does not have legal authority to limit religious freedom protections under the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or Supreme Court case law.
- The Proposal has a flawed cost-benefit analysis that ignores its significant costs and wrongly claims benefits that will not follow from its proposed changes.
A written version of these comments as submitted to the government is available here.
Rachel N. Morrison is a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where she works on EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project. An attorney, her legal and policy work focuses on religious liberty, health care rights of conscience, the right to life, nondiscrimination, and civil rights.